Indie film studio 1091 has acquired the North American distribution rights to a documentary on former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury. Titled “A Kid From Coney Island,” it is directed by Chike Ozah and Coodie Simmons. The film was produced by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi of Significant Productions with Jason Samuels.
Marbury is an executive producer.
The film premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and a theatrical release is planned for late October in partnership with SLAM Media.
“A Kid From Coney Island” follows basketball star Marbury from his childhood in Brooklyn as the sixth of seven children in a basketball family, starting at the famed Abraham Lincoln High School, and on through his professional career in the NBA and China. Friends and family share their view of the kid called Starbury pursuing a dream, but also the enormous weight and expectation placed on him to be the next New York basketball phenomenon. Marbury’s path led him across the world and is an example of how fulfillment and happiness can often be found in the unlikeliest of places.
“‘A Kid From Coney Island’ is about so much more than just basketball. It’s a beautiful, universal story of family, community, and the complexity of talent; how pursuing a dream in the face of massive expectations can be simultaneously dangerous and redemptive,” Danielle DiGiacomo, SVP of Acquisitions and Strategic Partnerships, and Julie Dansker, chief revenue officer, 1091, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with SLAM Media given Stephon’s longstanding relationship with the brand that started when he was a high school Phenom.”
Marbury’s connection to SLAM Media goes back to 1995 when he became the magazine’s first writer of the monthly “SLAM High School Diary” as a senior at New York City basketball powerhouse Abraham Lincoln High School, which chronicled his accomplishments through the basketball season. Since then, Marbury has appeared on the magazine’s cover five times. Along with 1091, SLAM Media will hold a New York community screening ahead of the film’s release in theaters.
“We are thrilled that this special film has found a home with 1091 and SLAM Media,” Nina Yang Bongiovi, co-founder of Significant Productions, said. “At Significant we value unique and inclusive storytelling, and these two companies are the perfect partners to continue to tell the story of Stephon Marbury’s inspiring life.”
Simmons and Ozah first partnered on Kanye West’s “Through The Wire” video and have gone on to direct ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries “Benji,” BET’s “Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ,” and “Martin: The Legacy of a King.”
The deal was negotiated by 1091’s DiGiacomo and Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers.